Revenge of the Virgins

Dir: Peter Perry Jr.
Star: Charles Veltman, Stan Pritchard, Jodean Russo, Lou Massad

Great exploitation title, and the film wastes absolutely no time, as shown by this GIF of the opening five seconds (it's almost hypnotic]. However, its true nature then becomes apparent. This is a straightforward Western, into which nudie - okay, toplessie - content has occasionally been spliced. Quite how, when or at whose demand this was done, but given the infamous Ed Wood wrote the script here, it was probably planned from fairly early on. Still, one can only imagine the surprise the actors in the main thread must have felt on seeing the finished product. The main plot has entrepreneur Melvin Potter (Veltman) and his shrewish/sluttish wife Ruby (Russo) leading an expedition to find gold, at the behest of grizzled old prospector, Pan Taggart (Pritchard). It's deep in Indian territory, and the two men they hire to act as guards, also have their own agenda. But it's mostly the natives that are the threat, who keep popping up, loosing an arrow that inevitably hits one of the party in the back, and then vanishing off into the scrub. Of course, in this case the natives are topless Indian babes, the last remnants of a dwindling tribe, according to the opening voiceover. Hardly surprising, given both that they're all women, and the sexual inactivity implied by the title.

There's no shot in the entire movie shared by the redskins and the palefaces, and the subplot which has the former ruled over by a white woman (Nona Carver), brought up as a native, goes absolutely nowhere. Admittedly, considering the film lasts only 53 minutes, there's barely enough room for anything to go anywhere, and it's all very brisk and linear. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though, and by Wood's low standards, the results are competent enough, with at least the clothed participants basically indistinguishable from any other bottom of the bill Western of its time (which would be 1959, so even bosoms were pretty daring for that era). Weirdly, I was particularly reminded of Aguirre, with which it shares the ill-conceived expedition, destroyed by a leader's hubris; it also feels oddly like a precursor of the infamous Italian cannibal movies from the seventies. It appears to be in the public domain, so someone could do a remake if they wished: just a shame Klaus Kinski is no longer with us...

[March 2015]

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